‘Dekho dekho Delhi ka bhagoda aaya (Look, the absconder from Delhi has come)’ – said a banner that greeted AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal at Varanasi railway station on Tuesday. It was put up by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, a fringe player of the Sangh Parivar.
Kejriwal was greeted by thousands of supporters at the railway station as he arrived in Varanasi to file his nomination papers. (HT photo/Rajesh Kumar)
But before Kejriwal came out of the railway station both the posters were removed. Kejriwal, who is still being chased around by his decision to exit the Delhi government after 49 days, arrived from New Delhi for a month-long campaign tour in Varanasi, where he is contesting against BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi.
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The AAP convenor will stay here till May 12, the polling day, barring five days he has kept aside for campaigning in other districts.
In the evening, Kejriwal tweeted after addressing a question-answer session here: "Reached Varanasi. Will go to Amethi on 20th. Need clean money to fight Modi and Rahul. Pl sms at 9868069953 if u wish to donate."
Earlier, AAP sent out mass mails in Kejriwal’s name appealing for donation. But this is the first time that he himself asked for donation. Since it resumed its online donation drive after the Delhi poll results, AAP has received Rs. 27.01 crore from 91,978 donors till 7.30pm on Tuesday.
Earlier in the morning, Kejriwal, who was accompanied by his parents, Govind and Radha Kejriwal, was greeted with showers of rose petals by his supporters as he came out of the railway station. In order to prevent any untoward incident, GRP personnel escorted him to a private vehicle parked outside the station.
In the day’s first political move, Kejriwal visited the residence of Sheher Qazi Maulana Gulam Yasin to solicit support for his fight against Modi. But the Muslim leader remained non-committal on the issue of support.
When Muslims present there asked Kejriwal about his plans for the community’s welfare, the AAP convenor said, "Corruption is the biggest issue. When this issue is resolved, all problems will be solved."
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In his conversation with the Qazi, Kejriwal also mentioned the Okhla area of Delhi, where some people had been framed in fake cases of terrorism.